What is a Nail Polish Dryer?

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  • Written By: Erika Peterson
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 August 2019
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A nail polish dryer is available in a variety of shapes, sizes and prices. It is important to find a quality dryer for the most desirable results. It should have a non-slip hand grip, finger rest, and an airflow passage for both warm and cool air. Nail polish, while an inexpensive accessory to fashion, usually tends to take several minutes to an hour to fully dry. It can easily become smudged if the user moves around naturally before the polish has fully set, so a nail polish dryer comes in handy to help the nails quickly dry within a few minutes and allow for easier movement after a manicure or pedicure.

The most inexpensive nail polish dryers are affordable for everyone. These will offer only cold air and lack some of the benefits of their more expensive counterparts. A middle-range priced dryer usually has additional features such as a nail bath, dryer, and a place to rest the hands. Some of the more expensive sets come with different speeds, sponges, buffers, and massage heads for a complete home manicure.


Salon-quality nail polish dryers use air or UV rays to dry the nails. They come with key pads to adjust the temperature of the air, which blows hot as well as cold. There are speed settings for faster drying, and there is enough room to dry two hands or feet at the same time. A small observation window allows for checking on the progress of the nail drying, and an indicator light shows when a drying session begins or ends. Professional dryers are light and portable, despite their durability.

At a greater expense than professional air dryers, a UV nail polish dryer can be purchased. It comes with the same manicure or pedicure supplies as an air dryer, but instead of hot or cold air, bulbs emitting UV rays are used. Many people find the rays more comfortable than the air when drying. Professional models using either air or UV rays offer soft, curved edges for maximum comfort.

Before purchasing and using an at-home nail polish dryer, it is imperative to check its features and read the instructions before use. Heat will dry the nails most quickly, but too much heat can also damage the nails and cause issues. A temperature control is necessary when using a dryer with hot air. Acrylic nails need to be dried using heat, while natural nails would do better to be dried with cooler air.


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Post 3

So how do I choose the best nail dryer for home use? A friend of mine is getting married and she asked for a dryer for her nails as a wedding present, but I have absolutely no idea what the standards on such things are, and no idea how to choose one.

Can you give me some hints as to brands, etc. that might be a good place to look?

Post 2

There are also a series of nail polish dryer sprays on the market which interact with the chemicals in nail polish to make it set more quickly.

However, I prefer to use the UV nail polish dryer machine for my clients, since I've found that it simply works the best.

Sometimes with air dryers you can get little ripples or ridges, especially if you have an inexperienced manicurist operating the machine.

UV tends to keep everything even, and it also feels nicer, so clients like it better.

But when it comes down to it, the most important thing when it comes to drying nail is time. You're really only going to get the best results if

you give it enough time to dry, and don't try to do anything else until the polish is absolutely set.

If you're really in a fix at home, then you might want to try using a nail polish pen -- they are usually pretty quick drying, and get the job done when you're in a pinch.

Post 1

My manicurist uses a UV nail lamp for gels, since they take forever long to dry, and I have always wanted to get a version that I could use at home when I'm just painting my natural nails.

Would you say that a UV nail polish dryer is worth the investment; I mean, can you get the really good ones on the consumer market, or do you have to be a manicurist to buy the really effective UV lamps for nails?

I know that some brands only sell to qualified manicurists; are nail polish dryers the same, or could I get a good one at a decent price without being a professional?

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